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Sep 10 2014
July Humpback Death Likely from Ferry Strike PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 September 2014


State and federal officials conducted the examination of the 25-ton humpback whale on Puffin Island in Kodiak in July after it was killed by what is now believed to be a collission with the ferry Kennicott. Photo courtesy Kate Wynn


Associated Press
    Federal authorities believe the death of a humpback whale near Kodiak in late July was likely due to a collision with the state ferry Kennicott.
    There were questions around the time of the incident about whether the animal was already dead when the ship struck it. Julie Speegle, a spokeswoman with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that doesn't appear to be the case. She says the whale was freshly dead when examined.
    A necropsy found the cause of death to be a fractured skull due to a ship strike.
    She says there were no findings in the report that the animal was injured before the collision.
    Speegle says charges will not be pursued in the case, because the ship strike was unintentional and there was no evidence of a violation.

Sep 10 2014
Spokesman: Scheduling Conflict Keeping Sullivan from Fishery Debate PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 September 2014

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    A spokesman for Alaska Republican hopeful Dan Sullivan has told KMXT that inevitable scheduling conflicts are behind the candidate missing the fisheries debate in Kodiak scheduled for October 1st.
    Mike Anderson said that over 20 organizations have shown interest in hosting a debate, and that Sullivan is scheduled to be on a campaign swing elsewhere in rural Alaska during the Kodiak debate.
    Kodiak Chamber of Commerce director Trevor Brown said that the debate is going on whether Sullivan shows up or not. It could turn into a Begich town meeting like the scheduled Alaska Native Brotherhood debate in Southeast recently that Sullivan was invited to, but skipped.
    For his part, Begich told KMXT yesterday afternoon that he is coming to Kodiak on October 1st no matter what.
    “Just before the primary actually, we put out a notice of all the requests that we received for debate and forums. We accepted 13 of them. He’s only done one, the one that was on the internet. And it was with the Liberty group, you know, Tea Party, libertarian, those groups that I showed up to, right? I wasn’t afraid to talk about the issues in a group that may not be as supportive, as you can imagine, some of my positions. And my understanding is he hasn’t committed to any other debates at this time. Which we have,” Begich said. “We are not afraid. This debate, as you know, is very detailed. A lot of good issues come up in it and it would be a great opportunity, but I’m going to show up anyway.”
    Begich said he was surprised and disappointed upon hearing of Sullivan’s exit, saying the fisheries debate is a “must-do” for statewide candidates.
    “To me it’s somewhat amazing and surprising when you think about it;” Begich said. “This is probably one of the most important debates when it comes to our largest employer, supporting thousands of fishermen and families and business throughout Alaska. It’s about jobs, it’s about the economy. For him not willing to stand up and put his positions on the table, I think it’s surprising, and I think a disappointment for Alaskans.”
    Sullivan’s stance on issues such as the Pebble Mine is not popular with commercial fishermen, especially in southwest Alaska, and though fishermen are in no way a monolithic voting bloc, the United Fishermen of Alaska has already endorsed Begich.
    “Even if you are not a commercial fisherman, or a sports fisherman, or a subsistence user, you still would like to know, on an industry that touches so many Alaskans in so many ways, where you stand. He’s unwilling to let Alaskans know,” Begich said. “I think that’s like sending an unknown to Washington D.C. and put at risk what Alaska has, that’s sustainable fisheries.”
    Kodiak’s Laine Welch, with whom the Chamber contracts to organize the event, said in an e-mail that she is hoping Libertarian Party candidate for Senate Mark Fish will accept the invitation to attend. Currently, the senatorial portion of the event will be in the first hour, with U.S. House candidates in the second. She added that Don Young will be attending and that she is waiting to hear from Democrat Forrest Dunbar.

Sep 10 2014
Cutter Alex Haley Assists Unalaska Safety Drill PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 September 2014


Crewmembers aboard Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley maintain a towing line during an emergency towing system exercise with Seattle-based fishing vessel Sea Trader near Unalaska, Alaska, Sept. 9, 2014. The exercise was held by the City of Unalaska to develop emergency towing capabilities for disabled vessels in the Aleutian Subarea using locally available tugboats in conjunction with ETS equipment stationed in Unalaska. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dale Arnould)


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    Coast Guardsmen from Kodiak participated in an emergency towing system drill in Dutch Harbor yesterday. The crew from the cutter Alex Haley and an Air Station Kodiak Dolphin helicopter crew assisted the city of Unalaska with the maritime emergency practice.
    During the drill, the helicopter crew delivered the city’s emergency towing gear to a vessel which was then towed by the Alex Haley. The participating distressed vessel was then met by local tugs which took the vessel to an emergency buoy.
    Alex Haley Commanding Officer Stephen White said drills such as yesterdays were important to gain familiarity with the emergency towing system equipment. Personnel with the Dutch Harbor Marine Safety Detachment also participated, as did Harley Marine, Dunlap Towing and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
    The Alex Haley is a 282-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Kodiak.

Sep 10 2014
Diesel Sheen Traced to NOAA Ship PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 September 2014

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    An oily sheen in Women’s Bay has been traced to a NOAA research vessel docked at the Coast Guard base.
    A Sector Anchorage spokesman said yesterday evening that the exact composition of the rainbow sheen had not been identified, but its volume has been estimated to be about 20 gallons. He said steps have been taken to contain the spill and that NOAA will be responsible for clean up.
    According to the NOAA website, both research ships Rainier and the Fairweather are indicated to be tied up at Nyman Peninsula, but a NOAA officer at the ships' homeport in Newport, Ore., says the web-based ship tracker is innacurate. The 231-foot Rainier is currently in Kodiak; the Fairweather is in Seattle.

    The spill was first reported Monday to the Coast Guard, and again at noon yesterday. Comments from locals on Friends of Kodiak reported the smell of diesel fuel coming from the area for several days.

Sep 09 2014
Junior Achievement Looking for Volunteers to Teach in Villages PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 September 2014

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    Junior Achievement, an organization that teaches workplace readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy has scheduled six one-day lessons in village schools on Kodiak Island, but they’re looking for volunteers to help out.
    “It can be anyone. You have to love kids of course,” said Amarin Ellis is the Community Program Manager for J-A of Alaska in Anchorage. “So you’d go into the classroom – you don’t need to be a teacher or a professional. We’re just looking for businesspeople in the community that can go and share and relate their work experience to the program.”
    Even though real J-A experience is necessary, Ellis says volunteers will be prepped:
    “I’m in Anchorage, but I do provide an over-the-phone training and we have some videos online that will help also. But we provide all the program materials (and) this year we’re providing flights as well through a few grants that we were able to get,” she said. “So everything is paid for and provided. Just go out for the day and then go back to Kodiak.”
    Ellis says the program helps prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, and how to create jobs in their communities.
    She said students put the lessons into action through the day-long courses.
    “We really focus on empowering students to own their economic success and each of our programs aligns with curriculum for each grade level in order to provide students with that information.”
    The one-day courses are on Sept. 23rd through 26th and October 3rd in the various communities. Ellis says Junior Achievement is looking for three volunteers for the workshops in Akhiok and Old Harbor, two in Chiniak, Karluk and Port Lions and one in Ouzinkie.
    You can reach Amarin Ellis at 907-344-0101 ext. 24 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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